Community briefs, April 3: Restaurants support robotics program

Restaurants support robotics program

WATSONVILLE — Three local restaurants shared a portion of their proceeds with Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s Robotics Program.

On Feb. 21, Straw Hat Pizza on Freedom Boulevard supported the first fundraiser and donated part of their sales to the program. On March 7, Ella’s at the Airport, 100 Aviation Way, donated a portion of their all-day proceeds. Burger of Aptos, 7941 Soquel Drive, also supported the program by donating part of their sales.

The program was able to raise more than $500 through these fundraiser events. The funds raised will support the robotics team with materials, competition registration, and traveling for regional winning teams to attend the national competition.

“It is exciting to partner with generous local businesses to help support such an incredible STEM program such as the Marine Advance Technology Education (MATE) out of Monterey Peninsula College,” Science and Career Technical Education Coordinator Rob Hoffman said. “This international underwater robotics program provides an opportunity for our student teams to collaborate and solve real ocean-related problems by creating a mock-business with a variety of positions that relate to current industry careers.”


Congressman’s staff to hold office hours

WATSONVILLE — Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s (CA-20) staff will hold mobile office hours on April 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Watsonville Public Library, 275 Main St., Suite 100.

Staff members will assist with issues concerning Social Security, Medicare, federal employee retirement, immigration services, veterans’ services, passports, searching for military records, and any other federal matters.

To schedule a meeting, call Panetta’s Salinas office at 424-2229.


Heritage Hog Scholarship offered

WATSONVILLE — The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Foundation is currently accepting applications for the Heritage Hog Scholarship.

The scholarship is offered to a deserving college or other higher education-bound student interested in raising a hog to be brought to the Santa Cruz County Fair and sold at the Junior Livestock Auction. Proceeds from the auction, along with additional donations, are used for various improvements to the fairgrounds.

The Fairgrounds Foundation will provide the hog and feed and $2,000 to a student entering or currently attending college. This award will be allocated with verification of registration for full time classes.

Applications must be received by May 16. For information, visit


New Music Works presents ‘Because’

SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz’s New Music Works is in its 39th season, and on Saturday it will celebrate with a special concert that seeks to break new ground for the group.

“Because” will be held at Peace United Church, 900 High St. in Santa Cruz, at 7:30 p.m., and will take chamber music and cross it through various other genres. For instance, a Beatles cover of “All You Need is Love” will be introduced with Stravinsky’s arrangement of “Marseillaise.”

The New Music Works Ensemble will perform a sextet by Frank Pesci, and renowned pianist Sarah Cahill will premiere a new set of solo pieces composed by Jan Scoville.

Tickets are $25 for general, $20 for senior and $10 for students (service fees not included), and are available for purchase at For information, visit


Nominations sought for Clean Air Leaders Awards

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Monterey Bay Air Resources District is seeking nominations for its annual Clean Air Leaders Awards.

The Clean Air Leaders Awards will provide recognition for initiatives undertaken by individuals, organizations and agencies in the Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

The recipients will be honored at an event on May 31 at the Nicklaus Club Monterey, 100 Pasadera Drive in Monterey, from 7-9 p.m.

The deadline to submit nominations is April 30.

For information, visit


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